This undated photo captures a woman  at a supermarket in Handan, Hebei province. (HAO QUNYING / FOR CHINA DAILY)

BEIJING – China's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, rose 0.8 percent year-on-year in August, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Thursday.  

The figure was lower than the 1 percent year-on-year growth recorded in July.

China's producer price index (PPI), which measures costs for goods at the factory gate, went up 9.5 percent year-on-year in the same month, NBS data showed

The slower growth was partly driven by a drop in food prices, which declined 4.1 percent year-on-year last month. In particular, the price of pork, a staple meat in China, slumped 44.9 percent from a year earlier.

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Senior NBS statistician Dong Lijuan said continued government efforts had led to ample supply in the consumer market and stable prices in August.

China has set its consumer inflation target at approximately 3 percent for the year 2021, according to this year's government work report. 

Factory-gate prices up 9.5%

Meanwhile, China's factory prices continued to pick up in August amid booming demand and rising prices of bulk commodities, NBS data showed.

The producer price index (PPI), which measures costs for goods at the factory gate, went up 9.5 percent year-on-year in August, faster than the 9 percent year-on-year increase registered in July,

On a monthly basis, China's PPI rose 0.7 percent in August, up 0.2 percentage points from July.

The faster expansion of PPI last month was due to price rises in coal, steel and chemicals, said Dong.

Among the major sectors, coal mining and washing, chemical raw materials and products manufacturing, and ferrous metal smelting and processing were the main contributors to the increase in PPI inflation in August, according to Dong.

"Despite the surge in PPI inflation, China is not faced with an overall inflation problem," Lu Ting, chief China economist with securities firm Nomura, said in a research note.

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However, Lu cautioned against rising costs in downstream sectors, companies' squeezed margins and downward pressure on economic growth in the coming months.